New Team Guiding Committees Through the Energy Transition

New Team Guiding Committees Through the Energy Transition

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Smarter Communities is proud to announce it has a dedicated sustainability team, tasked with helping strata negotiate the energy transition.

Over the last two years, the team has worked closely with committees to help them plan for electrification and future-proof their properties.

The sustainability team advises on and manages the upgrades required to make the property’s current electrical infrastructure fit for purpose.

As gas is phased out, and demand for electricity continues to grow, the electrical needs and capabilities of contemporary properties are being transformed.

The sustainability team supports committees to install solar systems, EV charging solutions and main switchboard (MSB) upgrades.

The work of the sustainability team

Smarter Communities is the first strata, also known as body corporate or owners corporation, management and developer advisory company to introduce a dedicated sustainability team for its customers.

The team is available to communities across NSW, Victoria and Queensland. Communities in South Australia will be able to access the team’s services from next year. Committees keen to implement new solutions can approach the team for expert guidance on projects, helping take the complexity out of the process.

The sustainability team has a significant pipeline of projects currently being worked through with committees. It typically takes 12 to 15 months to plan and implement projects.

Key electrical infrastructure upgrades

The team’s goal is to help customers reduce carbon emissions while saving money through the electrification process.

As National Sustainability Manager Dan Thompson explains, the infrastructure of many properties on Australia’s east coast can be 30 to 40 years old, requiring upgrades to facilitate the transition.

“The first goal is to understand what the committee wants to achieve today and in the future,” he says.

The installation of solar panel systems can help residents in two ways.

If solar is attached to a common area meter, the building’s costs are reduced. All owners share that benefit via lower monthly levies and outgoings.

Where a community solar panel system is installed, all residents connect to it. This reduces energy bills for everyone living in the building.

As Dan explains, these benefits also extend to EV charging infrastructure – in hot demand as committees look to future-proof buildings.

The sustainability team can implement load-managed systems, which allows every car parking space to connect with the building’s EV charging network, as residents upgrade to EVs.

“When residents are ready, they can purchase an EV charger from us. If there’s a load-managed system installed, all they have to do then is connect to the network, plug in, and they’re ready to go.”

Embedded networks

The team can also tender embedded networks.

“Embedded network operators purchase a utility at a wholesale price for the entire building and sell it at a retail price to residents, generating an ongoing return. We ensure this benefit goes back to our communities,” Dan says.

Electrification process speeding up

Residents are set to have very different experiences in the future.

“Research shows that 80% of EV charging happens at home. We need to start planning for this in the strata industry,” Dan says.

“The sustainability team is here to help committees manage the transition, navigate installation of solar and EV charging, and future proof their properties for electrification.

“It can seem daunting. Yet my experience shows that people are starting to understand practices like load management. More apartments are now putting the infrastructure in place and, as chargers start to pop up, it will only gain momentum and continue to grow.”

The drive to sustainability is key for committees, yet getting there can be a complex journey. The Smarter Communities sustainability team can simplify the process of future proofing buildings, and guide committees through step by step.

To discuss your property’s strata management needs or receive a FREE management proposal contact our friendly team. We also offer more helpful resources and community living news in our FREE newsletter.

The information provided is a general guide only and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. The company disclaims all responsibility and liability for any expenses, losses, damages, and costs which might be incurred as a result of the information provided by the company.

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